Silver in the Bone by. Alexandra Bracken | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Silver in the Bone (#1)

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 480

Publication Date: 4/4/23

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Romance

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

A series opener inspired by Arthurian legend and fueled by love, revenge, and pure adrenaline!

Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself—and her brother, Cabell—alive.

Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. But they aren’t the only ones who covet the ring.

As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have it for themselves. While Emrys is the last person Tamsin would choose to partner with, she needs all the help she can get to edge out her competitors in the race for the ring. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .

Content Warning: violence, gore, death

I wasn’t sure what to expect when requesting this book. I enjoyed Lore which is from the same author. So I thought the concept for this one was intriguing. Here is what I thought:

+ Once I got my bearings in the story, and things started to gel a bit better I was really into the action parts of this story. It’s quite an adventure that Tamsin goes through in this book. It’s urban fantasy so it starts off in the modern world and there is magic, portals and yes Avalon. So I enjoyed all the places this book took me, it’s quite a journey.

+ I liked the characters. Tamsin is that girl who has abandonment issues, doesn’t have a traditional family, doesn’t have anyone really except her brother Cabell. She keeps people away with a gruff, pessimistic front which means she’s not the easiest to be around. Cabell is dealing with some things! Neve is this cool and kind hearted girl who is a sorceress and then there is the gorgeous Emrys who is a rich boy but he has his own issues to deal with. And then there are all the characters in Avalon that were fun to get to know.

+ I mentioned the action but can I say I didn’t expect this to get a bit scary/creepy too? There are zombies in this one and they are relentless and vicious. I actually enjoyed the scenes when they were fighting them even if it got bloody and gory.

+ The ending is a cliffhanger but wow, how the story leads up to it is pretty exciting. I think the second half of this book was the best part, there were a few plot twists that were unexpected. I need to know what is going to happen with Cabell, what is going on with Emrys and I am rooting for the girls to do what they need to do!

~ It took me awhile to get situated in the beginning of the book because I was thrown into it. I didn’t know what Tamsin was, what a Hollower was, if this was fantasy, if this was contemporary. I kind of wish I was lead into it a bit better.

~ Pacing – at times this book was going really fast, because the action is really great and then once it would get good, it pulled back. I had to check a few times how many more pages was left in the book because I was hoping I was near the finish line. It definitely felt like 480 pages.

~ The zombies or Children of the Night are reminiscent of the Whitewalkers in Game of Thrones. They are afraid of fire, they are freakishly scary and want blood, and come out at night. It’s what I totally pictured in my head when I read the scenes with the Children of the Night. Also the bodycount factor reminded me of GoT also! The author wasn’t afraid to kill off good people in this story – it was a heartbreaking scene but definitely makes me want to read book two. But anyway if you aren’t into zombies – this might not be for you.

Tropes: found family,

Why you should read it:

  • King Arthur legends, adventure, zombies, magic
  • the enemies to lovers romance between Tamsin and Emrys
  • you like urban fantasy

Why you might not want to read it:

  • you get thrown in to the story, pacing is all over the place, it’s kind of chaotic until you get your bearings

My Thoughts:

I found this book very entertaining for the most part! The pacing issues made it feel laggy in some places but the action was really good especially in the later part of the book. I will definitely read book two because I want to know what happens to these amazing characters.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lore by. Alexandra Bracken | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Thornwood Academy: Never Say Die by. L.J. Swallow | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Thornwood Academy: Never Say Die #1

Author: L.J. Swallow

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 212

Publication Date: 2/8/23

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Prep Academy, Mystery, Supernatural

I’m a vampire-witch hybrid with a fondness for necromancy.
Excuse me if I’m a little dead inside.

I tried to attend a human school, but they didn’t appreciate my behavior. Personally, I found biology class more interesting when the dissected animals fought back. The school didn’t.

My parents searched for somewhere new to send their deviant daughter, and doors open when your father is Dorian Blackwood. Then they close firmly behind once he dumps you inside an exclusive supernatural academy, along with instructions to become ‘a touch more amiable’.

Says the guy who spent his teen years tearing throats out. Luckily, I’ve inherited my father’s sociopathic tendencies and my mother’s magical skills, a lethal yet useful combination when navigating academy life.

Thornwood Academy. Home to the elite who strive to excel—and now me, who strives to leave. Since the supernaturals revealed themselves to the world, the unluckiest human kids join the vampires and witches at Thornwood. Hopefully, the humans aren’t dissected in this biology class.

I don’t care that nobody trusts me, but when the headmaster’s son is found unalived, fingers point at Dorian’s darkling daughter. Ridiculous. I would’ve reanimated the bullying asshole and demanded he perform tricks. Such a wasted opportunity.

If I want help clearing my name, I need to become ‘a touch more amiable’ to the three guys who seem oddly fascinated by me. Somebody doesn’t want the accords between humans and supes to last, and I’m not taking the blame just because I’m a Blackwood.

Looking for an academy read with Wednesday vibes? Meet Violet Blackwood: half-vampire, half-witch, smart, sarcastic, and slightly unhinged.

Never Say Die is the first in a new supernatural academy series from LJ Swallow,author of the Nightworld Academy books. The Thornwood Academy series features a girl who isn’t afraid to use her dark side, a magic school where humans mix with vampires and witches, and three guys with secrets in a town stalked by a serial killer.
Thornwood Academy is also a slow-burn romance… almost as glacial as our slightly psychotic heroine.

Content Warning: bullying, violence, death

I was in the mood for a prep school, bingeable book and picked this one up on Kindle Unlimited and this is what I thought:

+ I was reading the story and realized right away that Violet, our MC, is a dead ringer for Wednesday Adams from the show Wednesday on Netflix. And I LOVE that show. So I was enjoying Violet also since they are basically the same person, even though they look different. Violet has blue eyes I believe. Anyway so this reads like a Wednesday fanfic.

+ This is a SUPER short book, at only 212 pages – so it’s definitely bingeable, and clearly it’s a series but yeah I read this one quick.

+ I like the mystery and investigation – it keeps the story moving and once again, reminiscent of Wednesday.

~ I don’t mind Wednesday being an inspiration because I am obsessed with that show but there are too many similar things to the show. Violet investigates a murder and she sees a therapist in town – sound familiar? She even goes to the morgue just like Wednesday did and then the love triangles with the boys. Violet has a few more boys on her list but it still felt so similar to Wednesday. Violet’s whole personality is Wednesday Adams. Even her roommate – okay she’s not a werewolf, she’s a bubbly, optimistic personality though which is also reminiscent of Wednesday’s roommate in the show.

~ This is a spin-off to another series, I believe because I’m pretty sure Violet’s parents had their own series. I never read it though and I don’t think you need to read it to be able to read this one.

Why you should read it:

  • you love Wednesday (on Netflix) because basically this is the book version with very few differences
  • it’s quick and bingeable, entertaining

Why you might not want to read it:

  • its too similar to Wednesday

My Thoughts:

Am I going to continue the series? Yes because I need more of Wednesday and can’t get any more until they release Season 2 lol…so this series will have to suffice. Do I feel like the story could have been inspired and used less of what was in the show? Definitely yes. I love a character like Wednesday, but maybe not copy the scenes from the show and the secondary characters? I’m giving it a three because I still read it in one sitting and will definitely see how this reverse harem will work out. I mean, will it? She doesn’t even like being touched! So I’m curious to see what happens in book two and I hope it’s a little more original and not follow the Wednesday show.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Ambrosia by. C.N. Crawford | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Ambrosia (The Frost and Nectar, #2)

Author: C.N. Crawford

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 350

Publication Date: 2/20/23

Categories: Romance, Fantasy, Series, Duology, Faerie, Urban Fantasy

After the Seelie king Torin nearly froze me to death, I plunged through a portal into my true home. Turns out, my hometown is a wild Unseelie kingdom known as the Court of Sorrows. When Torin follows me and sees my new horns, he quickly realizes that his intended bride is an enemy of his realm. In fact, his name for my kind is “demon.”

But even if I have the horns of an Unseelie, I’m not welcome here, either. Queen Mab and her monstrous soldiers are delighted to torment us, accusing me of being a traitor. If we want to get out of the Court of Sorrows with our lives, the only hope we have is to stay as close to each other as possible–even if it means fleeing in horseback and sharing a bed. Every moment is bittersweet, since it could be our last–and Torin is condemned to kill anyone he loves.

Content Warning: violence

This was one of my most anticipated reads for February and I finally got a chance to read it. Here is what I thought:

+ A lot happens in this story because the series is only a duology. Ava has fallen into the world of the Unseelie and she is not herself. She learns more about herself and that she has powers and why.

+ Torin and Ava finally get to have a steamy scene together which is what I’ve been waiting for.

+ There is a lot of action in this one, especially at the end.

~ Unfortunately I was less connected to the characters in this one and I think it’s because everything was so fast paced and it felt rushed. I think the whole series altogether feels rushed.

~ I actually wanted to learn more about the villains but again, everything came so rushed at the end.

~ Shalini, Ava’s best friend, actually gets more of a part in this book but I wasn’t expecting her POV and was thrown off and I didn’t even remember who she was only because the book focuses on Ava and Torin. I’m glad she has a happy ending also but it was unexpected.

Why you should read it:

  • you read book one
  • into Faeries
  • Ava and Torin finally get a steamy scene

Why you might not want to read it:

  • the whole series feels rushed

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed book one and was interested in seeing where the story would go and even though it was rushed, there were entertaining moments. I think this story had so much potential, I just needed more from it like maybe a third book. Even though I didn’t really love it, I know others will enjoy this book.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Frost by. C.N. Crawford | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Garden of Serpents by. C.N. Crawford | Book Review ⭐️⭐️💫

Lord of Embers by. C.N. Crawford | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

City of Thorns (The Demon Queen Trials, #1) by. C.N. Crawford | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Mini Reviews | Hades Castle Trilogy by. C.N. Crawford ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mini Reviews | Institute of the Shadow Fae Series (Books #1-4) by. C.N. Crawford ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Mini Reviews | Court of the Sea Fae Trilogy by. C.N. Crawford ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Bloodmarked by. TracyDeonn | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Bloodmarked (Legendborn, #2)

Format: ebook (own)

Author: Tracy Deonn

Pages: 576

Publication Date: 11/8/22

Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary, Urban Fantasy, Romance, King Arthur Reimagined

The shadows have risen, and the line is law.

All Bree wanted was to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death. So she infiltrated the Legendborn Order, a secret society descended from King Arthur’s knights—only to discover her own ancestral power. Now, Bree has become someone new:

A Medium. A Bloodcrafter. A Scion.

But the ancient war between demons and the Order is rising to a deadly peak. And Nick, the Legendborn boy Bree fell in love with, has been kidnapped.

Bree wants to fight, but the Regents who rule the Order won’t let her. To them, she is an unknown girl with unheard-of power, and as the living anchor for the spell that preserves the Legendborn cycle, she must be protected.

When the Regents reveal they will do whatever it takes to hide the war, Bree and her friends must go on the run to rescue Nick themselves. But enemies are everywhere, Bree’s powers are unpredictable and dangerous, and she can’t escape her growing attraction to Selwyn, the mage sworn to protect Nick until death.

If Bree has any hope of saving herself and the people she loves, she must learn to control her powers from the ancestors who wielded them first—without losing herself in the process.

Content Warning: violence, grief, racism, mention of slavery, trauma, drugged

This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and I finally read it ~ here’s what I think:

+ I’m going to start off with the characters because I fell in love with this series because of them. We get more Alice, Bree’s best friend, which is awesome. Also we get lots of William who I loved in book one. There is less Nick (boo!), but more Selwyn (yay) and of course Bree who is going through too much turmoil in this sequel. There are some new fascinating characters in this book like Erebus, Valec, and Lark.

+ Bree does some memory walking in this story which means she travels back into King Arthur’s time a lot. But she also goes down her family tree memory line too which I think is awesome because we see the past and how it’s forged what Bree is today. I love how the history of slavery is discussed in this book because the story is set in the American South. It’s why I love Bree’s Root powers and we get to learn from her ancestors which is a beautiful thing.

+~ Bree is going through a LOT. She’s the rightful heir but who will back her claim? She has a loyal bubble around, thank goodness but there are those trying to keep her down. On top of the chaos in the Order, there are demons hunting for her and she finally finds out why. This is the book where Bree is down bad. She gets hurt a lot, and people around her get hurt because of her lack of control and her temper too. I do wish she actually learned to use her powers…like no one is there to help her at all and she struggles a lot. There were times I wanted to shake some sense into her and hope that William and Alice could shake some sense into her. But I know she’s going to come back kicking some major butt in the next book. This is just the story where she has to figure out a lot of stuff, she makes some poor decisions and I’m just hoping she makes better ones in book three.

+~ This love triangle is not for the faint of heart lol…it is not clear at all and usually I pick a guy right away. Nick isn’t in this book much, which is a shame because when he is…oh my heart. He is comforting and they have a connection. And then there is Sel and honestly the bad boys always win it for me but he was such an ass at times in this book…by the end I understand why but Sel and Bree fight a lot and their communication isn’t the best, but he will always take care of her, and always save her.💔 How can I love both boys? It’s the whole Guinenvere, Arthur, and Lancelot drama except here we have Arthur, Lancelet and Merlin? 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’m gonna say it’s gonna be Bree and Sel in the end because of the ending of this book but their lack of communication and fighting worries me…it’s the only reason I feel at times Nick is better for her.

~ I honestly wish at times we got Sel’s perspective in this book – I know that boy has lots of thoughts and emotions!

~ There is a lot going on with this book and I think the author did well enough that I didn’t get lost with all the explanations but I think the story lagged a bit in the middle.

Tropes: chosen one, secret society

Spice Level: 🌶

Why you should read it:

  • you loved Legendborn and want to return to the world and characters
  • Bree’s journey with her powers and how she tries to make sense of it all
  • lots of action

Why you might not want to read it:

  • you hate love triangles

My Thoughts:

Did this live up to my expectations? I think so because I had it a bit low because sequels are mostly a miss than a hit it seems but this is the book where Bree has to struggle and she does, a lot. I was getting frustrated with her for her poor decisions but I expect her to grow a lot from this sequel. There is a lot going on with the story, some I loved, some I thought maybe was too much but the story ends in a cliffhanger so we shall see what happens next. As for the love triangle? I don’t know where this it’s gonna go but I’m ready for it. Overall, I was entertained even though the middle got a bit slow for me. I felt like this story could be made into a Netflix series, I’d definitely watch it! I’m excited to see what happens next.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Legendborn | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Hearts We Sold by. Emily Lloyd-Jones | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Hearts We Sold

Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones

Format: paperback (own)

Pages: 416

Publication Date: 8/8/17

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Dee Moreno is out of options. Her home life sucks (to put it mildly), and she’s about to get booted from her boarding school–the only place she’s ever felt free–for lack of funds. But this is a world where demons exist, and the demons are there to make deals: one human body part in exchange for one wish come true.

The demon who Dee approaches doesn’t trade in the usual arms and legs, however. He’s only interested in her heart. And what comes after Dee makes her deal is a nightmare far bigger, and far more monstrous than anything she ever could have imagined. Reality is turned on its head, and Dee has only her fellow “heartless,” the charming but secretive James Lancer, to keep her grounded. As something like love grows between them amid an otherworldly ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give James her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

In The Hearts We Sold, demons can be outwitted, hearts can be reclaimed, monsters can be fought, and love isn’t impossible. This book will steal your heart and break it, and leave you begging for more.

Content Warning: alcoholism, addiction, parental neglect, emotional abuse

What drew me to this book first was the cover – which is so pretty. Then I realized it’s written by Emily Lloyd-Jones and I loved her book The Bone Houses, so that’s what made me buy it on sale from Book Outlet! Here is what did and didn’t work for me:

+ Very interesting and unique world building. Demons walk the earth and if you want something from them you can trade with them. Dee decides to trade her heart. But not all is what it seems with the demons – the tasks her demon or Daemon has her do is to enter these voids that appear and destroy them. She learns what the voids are and wonders if her trade was worth it.

+ Dee has a sad home life. She’s at boarding school to get the best education she can so she can get out from her parents . Her parents are alcoholics and their family life is toxic. I liked all the characters were meet in the story, like James who traded his heart for art. They all had an interesting story to tell. I like how they became a found family.

+ The romance is a slow burn because Dee knows she’s broken inside. But James is patient, he understands being broken and the two of them together and how it ends broke my heart unexpectedly! I didn’t know I was invested until this story took a different turn. It’s bittersweet.

~ Thought I was very interested in the world building I still felt like I needed more details about the void. It didn’t seem like a concrete image I had in my head about the monsters in the void and what they wanted.

~ Sad ending, but hopeful too.

Tropes: found family

Spice Level: 🌶 (barely any spice)

Why you should read it:

  • it’s got a sweet romance
  • the characters being a found family
  • good questions about what people would give up to get what they want
  • Dee overcoming a lot of issues with her family and herself

Why you might not want to read it:

  • sad ending
  • needs more world building

My Thoughts:

I’m glad I read this book even though it wasn’t quite what I expected. The ending was touching and sad, and overall I think it was a solid book. It makes me more of a fan of this author!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Bone Houses by. Emily Lloyd-Jones – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I like to think that I was the one who made the choices that brought me to this moment. They may have been bad or good choices – I don’t know.”

Emily Lloyd-Jones, The Hearts We Sold

I chose this.”

Emily Lloyd-Jones, The Hearts We Sold

Some secrets you keep all tangled up in yourself, so tight that to pull them out is physically painful.”

Emily Lloyd-Jones, The Hearts We Sold

Our Crooked Hearts by. Melissa Albert | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Our Crooked Hearts

Author: Melissa Albert

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 339

Publication Date: 6/28/22

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Categories: Young Adult, Witchcraft, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Contemporary, YA Thriller


Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a secret she’s always known—that there’s more to her mother than meets the eye.


Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural, set in a city of magical possibilities and secret mystics. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana’s shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with.

Content Warning: violence, blood, animal death

I went into this one expecting nothing and thoroughly enjoyed it! I’ve read Melissa Albert’s Hazel Wood series and honestly thought her books were not for me. I was curious about this one because it was about witchcraft and with the way she writes, I thought maybe…just maybe, this would be better than The Hazel Wood. Here’s what I thought did and didn’t work for me:

+ The witchcraft is dark and sinister, just how I like it. At first we follow Ivy, who’s a teenager who comes upon a strange girl in the woods. After that the story sucks you into the mystery of the girl, and Ivy’s mom’s secretive past. It’s one of those stories where I don’t know where it leads but it takes you on a twisty, dark journey until all the secrets are revealed. One of the best things about this story is how it unfolds.

+ The story is told between Dana’s past and Ivy’s present and I think it was well done and I was interested in both timelines. It merges together in the climax of the story. The writing is lyrical and dark, and I especially liked when we are in Dana’s past which is set in the 1990’s. I could visually see it all (since I grew up in that time).

+ There are some choices that Dana makes that affects Ivy and it’s something as mother and daughter that puts a wedge between them. Even now as I think about it all, I wonder if Dana could have done something else different to keep her daughter safe from her past.

+ There is a tiny bit of romance, but it’s not a main focus of the book.

~ The beginning may seem a little slow because it’s building the story of the past and it is also part mystery on Ivy’s part.

~ The book is atmospheric but if you aren’t into lyrical prose, this might not be your thing. I’m on the fence with her writing but I feel like for this type of book – where it’s creepy, mysterious and edgy too – it works. Witchcraft and Melissa Albert goes well together! It gave me flashbacks of the movie The Craft – especially when Dana is telling her story because her story is set the 90’s.

Tropes: family secrets, best friends for life

Why you should read it:

  • there is witchcraft and I love how twisty this story is
  • Dana and Ivy’s mother daughter relationship is strained – but you have to find out why
  • atmospheric, creepy, thrilling and so dark

Why you might not want to read it:

  • a little slow to get into only because it is a mystery but it picks up once the pieces fall into place
  • lyrical prose

My Thoughts:

I didn’t know what to expect with this one but I enjoyed it a lot! I was craving a good, spooky witchy book and this had all those elements and more. I was really invested in how Dana and Ivy’s story intertwined and how the consequences of Dana’s past would surface. If you like dark, witchy books with a few twists, you might enjoy this one! I hope the author writes more books like this one!

📚 ~ Yolanda

Other books I’ve reviewed from this Author:

The Hazel Wood by. Melissa Albert – 3.5 STARS

The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2) by. Melissa Albert – 2.5 STARS

Quotes From the Book:

He’d had all these ideas about who I was—that’s one of the perils of being quiet, people invent personalities for you—”

~Melissa Albert, Our Crooked Hearts

A mother can be a paring knife, a chisel. She can shape and destroy. I never really thought I would become one.”

~Melissa Albert, Our Crooked Hearts

magic was a thing with teeth, and a history as old as the world.”

~Melissa Albert, Our Crooked Hearts

Book of Night by. Holly Black | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Book of Night (#1)

Author: Holly Black

Format: ebooks (borrowed)

Pages: 320

Publication Date: 5/3/22

Publisher: Tor Books

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Adult Fiction, Mystery

In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

Holly Black makes her adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies.

Content Warning: abuse, violence, parental neglect, self harm, murder, drug use

I finally got to borrow an ebook copy of Book of Night and I downloaded right away because I’ve been wanting to read it for the past 2 months now. I saw the bad reviews but I can’t help myself, I’ve been reading Holly Black since 2002! Yup, I’ve been a fan for twenty years so this is what I thought about her adult urban fantasy book.

+ This has been advertised as adult fantasy but this is straight up urban fantasy. It’s set in a contemporary time, in Massachusetts and I love urban fantasy so I was ready to see how the story would play out. The main character is Charlie Hall and she is a very fleshed out character. We learn how she picked up the tricks of her trade – being a thief. There are chapters of her past, and we get a good sense of how broken she is inside, with a broken family, but the only good thing she’s at is stealing. She’s one of the best and her line of work is dangerous and deals with shady people. Charlie is an anti-heroine and I like how tough she was even though she never came off aggressive. She’s slick.

+ The writing is classic Holly Black, she draws you in. I’ve always loved her storytelling style and it surprises me every time. Her stories are dark, but not to the point of scaring me. The characters like Charlie, and Vince are absolutely imperfect and tend to embrace these parts of themselves. I liked the subtle twists we get in the story, there were a few moments that surprised me.

+ I thought the concept of shadows and them being a separate entity or having the ability to become a separate entity from a person was fascinating.

+ I don’t know how it happened because it’s not a romance and there is hardly romance in this but the ending when Charlie and Vince are trying to figure out what happens to them next…it got me.

~ It is a slow read because it feels like a mystery book. But I did finish this in one day! There is a lot of time spent on Charlie, who she is, her history, how she is the way she is and how she learned her skills.

~ I think the explanation of shadows wasn’t solid enough for me in the beginning and so I was trying to figure out what they were, what the Cabal was for, the reason why this whole business about shadows and blights was important. I started to get it the more it was explained and then really understood it by the end, but that was definitely a part that could have lost me as a reader. But I was so interested in Charlie that I kept reading.

Why you should read it:

  • you like mystery and urban fantasy with dark, imperfect characters
  • Charlie Hall is a fascinating character
  • love the twists in the story

Why you might not want to read it:

  • this is not YA Fantasy Holly Black work – this reads at a slow mystery pace and is urban fantasy so if you are expecting The Cruel Prince, um let me tell you this is a way different ballgame
  • needs more clear explanation on the shadows from the beginning

My Thoughts:

I don’t know what I expected when Holly Black revealed she was writing an adult fantasy but after reading this I think this falls in line with all her other work it just doesn’t have the Fae. There is an atmosphere that is mysterious and dark which I love, and I was drawn into the main character and all her other perfectly imperfect characters. Yes it was slow and the shadows could have been explained more clearly but I did eventually get it. Charlie as a character was intriguing enough for me and learning about the shadows was fascinating enough I read this in one day. I enjoyed this one even if it had no Fae – it has shadows that become separate from people, and I’m curious what happens to one particular shadow! I’ll definitely be reading the sequel after that ending.

📚 ~ Yolanda

Quotes From the Book:

It turns out that men have more authority, even when they’re not real.”

~ Holly Black, Book of Night

With no good ideas, she was going to go for the bad one. They better carve that on her tomb.”

~ Holly Black, Book of Night

If she couldn’t be responsible or careful or good or loved, if she was doomed to be a lit match, then Charlie might as well go back to finding stuff to burn.

~ Holly Black, Book of Night

If she couldn’t be responsible or careful or good or loved, if she was doomed to be a lit match, then Charlie might as well go back to finding stuff to burn.

~ Holly Black, Book of Night

Garden of Serpents by. C.N. Crawford | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Garden of Serpents (The Demon Queen Trials, #2)

Author: C.N. Crawford

Format: ebooks (KU)


Publication Date: 7/13/22

Categories: Romance, Urban Fantasy

Once, Orion and I were lovers. Then, the gorgeous demon king broke my heart. He kicked me out of the City of Thorns, exiling me to the mortal world.

Now, I have plans to get back at him–and save the world while I’m at it. Orion wants revenge on all the mortals. If I steal his crown, I can stop the bloodshed. All I have to do is beat him in a series of trials, proving that the gods chose me as queen.

But Orion seems determined to seduce me with his apologies and sensual charm. And the fact is? He’s hard to resist. In the City of Thorns, nothing is ever as it seems, but figuring out who to trust is the most important trial of all. Because if I get it wrong, I’ll have the blood of thousands on my hands.

Content Warning: violence, torture

This is the third book in The Demon Queen Trials series and I was enjoying it for the most part but the ending was too rushed. Here’s what I liked and didn’t like:

+ Rowan has trained and grown into her Succubus powers so she can now go toe to toe with Orion.

+ Rowan and Orion are meant to be. There are some challenges they have to deal with, like trust issues and they already got together in the last book but this felt like another slow burn round between them. There are many sensual and sexy parts though.

+ The epilogue was unexpected and interesting – makes me sort of interested to see where the story goes. But…I’m still on the fence.

~ The pacing of this book was an issue for me. Everything felt rushed. Rowan has to pass these trials but it doesn’t feel high stakes at all. We know Orion will give her whatever she wants. There are new characters introduced to us, but new characters in the last book, especially a villain? There wasn’t enough time to get to know them and their motivations or schemes.

~ Rowan is powerful now, so I wanted to see more of that in her trials but the trials didn’t feel like much.

~ What was up with Shai? Not sure what was going on with her.

~ The ending was super rushed. It felt like the story raced up to the betrayal, Orion and Rowan are united and the end. And the epilogue is 13 years later! So it sets up another story.

Why you should read it:

  • to finish the series if you started it
  • Rowan and Orion’s romance

Why you might not want to read it:

  • wanted so much more and it fell short
  • the story felt rushed, new characters introduced without much time to really get to know them

My Thoughts:

I was a bit disappointed by this one. I did love Rowan and Orion together, even if they were fighting but I felt like the whole story was rushed to get to the end. This one fell short for me but I’m glad I finished the series. The first two books were great, and this one was rushed with less intensity. The epilogue suggests a new spin-off but I don’t know if I will be reading it.

📚 ~ Yolanda

This Wicked Fate by.Kalynn Bayron | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: This Wicked Fate (#2)

Author: Kalynn Bayron

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 320

Publication Date: 6/21/22

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Categories: Greek Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Family

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Bloomsbury for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

How much would you risk to save the ones you love? Would you tempt even the most dangerous fate?

Briseis has one chance to save her mother, but she’ll need to do the impossible: find the last fragment of the deadly Absyrtus Heart. If she is to locate the missing piece, she must turn to the blood relatives she’s never known, learn about their secret powers, and take her place in their ancient lineage. Briseis is not the only one who wants the Heart, and her enemies will stop at nothing to fulfill their own ruthless plans. The fates tell of a truly dangerous journey, one that could end in more heartache, more death. Bolstered by the sisterhood of ancient magic, can Briseis harness her power to save the people she loves most?

Content Warning: violence

The second book in the This Poison Heart series continues right away from events in book one. This time, Briseis has to help save her mom but she has lots of help.

There is a lot of action in this one as Briseis and her group come up with a plan to find the last piece of the Absytrus Heart to save her mom. The story immerses us even more into Greek mythology so if you love mythology, you will love this book. The story is fast paced and full of adventure especially when they go after the Heart.

A lot of characters from book one are here again: Marie, Nyx, Mo, Circe and Persephone. Even Karter makes an appearance towards the end. The lovely LGBT+ representation is in the story again with Marie and Briseis’ budding romance. It’s not the main focus of the story but it was nice to see. And of course I was rooting for Bri’s mom to be saved!

Only thing for me was I have to be in the mood to read stories about Greek mythology and I had a little trouble getting back into the story in the beginning.

Why you should read it:

  • LGBT+ representation
  • Greek mythology, magic, and adventure
  • love of family

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into Greek Mythology

My Thoughts:

I think this was the perfect conclusion to this duology series. It’s got action, adventure, romance, magic, Greek mythology, LGBT+ representation and it’s a beautiful story about family.

📚 ~ Yolanda

An Unreliable Magic by. Rin Chupeco | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: An Unreliable Magic (A Hundred Names for Magic, #2)

Author: Rin Chupeco

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 5/3/22

Publisher: Sourcebook Fire

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairytales

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Sourcebook Fire for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

The second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic trilogy, an unforgettable alternative history fairy-tale series from the author of The Bone Witch about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong.

Tala, Alex, and the rest of their friends are safe for now, but know the Snow Queen is still out there. They have to be prepared for when she eventually attacks—and all decide to do so in their own way.

When Ryker comes out of the woodwork, showing himself when he starts attacking American detention facilities and freeing refugees. And the Nameless Sword, a legendary weapon that according to Avalon legend, will make its wielder the most powerful warrior of their time turns up with her name on it, Tala’s life gets messier…But when the Snow Queen arrives with an unlikely ally, the group will have to work together.

Content Warning: Racism, Violence

I really enjoyed Wicked as You Wish, which was book one in this series. I’m not sure why it was a struggle for me to get through this sequel.

One thing I love about Rin Chupeco books is the diversity she puts into her books. This story is no exception – there is so much diversity, it’s wonderful! Being a Filipino-American, I love seeing all the Filipinos represented in this book, especially with the women warriors. The old crew is back and the fairytale settings are present again and when I say fairytale settings I mean the author includes every fairytale out there from Peter Pan to Alice in Wonderland and then some. It’s a chaotic mix but it works.

The thing is, this is totally a mood read kind of book for me and I was not in the mood for this type of this story. I tried my hardest to get into the mood though! What tripped me up was the huge cast of characters. I didn’t re-read the first book before going into this one and maybe that would have helped. Because of this the first chapters of the book was going way too slow for me. It was a struggle for me. I was having trouble connecting to Tala because I was getting invested in Ken and Nya, but then I would be trying to remember who was who from the first book. There is so much going on in this book and it did not slow down. I just felt like I couldn’t catch up yet I usually love fast paced books! I think there was just too much going on for me in this one.

Why you should read it:

  • fairytale infused story (every fairytale and myth you can think of)
  • lots of action and so much diversity
  • you want to be back with Tala, Alex and their crew

Why you might not want to read it:

  • too much going on, first part of the story is slow
  • it was hard connecting to the characters, too many characters to remember
  • (re-read the first book if you can)

My Thoughts:

The great thing about this series is the action, the diversity and how all the fairytales come together in one creative story. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into the story. There was too much going on in the story and I didn’t re-read the first story to reacquaint myself with the large cast of characters, and I struggled through the first part of the story. It’s definitely a book where I need to be in the mood for. I think many fans of the first book will enjoy this one and be happy to see the same characters from book one.

📚 ~ Yolanda